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Women in Control

Project Description

Women in Control (WIC) is a year-long, NIH-funded research program designed to test the differences in impact between a real world and a virtual world-delivered diabetes healthcare intervention.

100 Boston-area subjects will participate in the program, in consultation with their Boston Medical Center or community health center MDs. The study population will be urban Black women with uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Diabetes is common among blacks at every income level, and they are are more likely to be hospitalized for diabetes. This population comprises about one-third of all adults with diabetes but they make up 45.0% of adult diabetic hospitalizations. Diabetes is twice as likely to contribute to the death of blacks vs. caucasians.

WIC will deliver an adaption of the Center for Disease Control’s diabetes education curriculum (The Power to Prevent - PDF) in eight, 90-120 minutes sessions, over an eight-month period of time. Half of the subjects will engage in the program during real world, face-to-face meetings at Boston Medical Center; half will engage in a specially adapted version of the program, delivered in the virtual world of Second Life.

Our research questions include: How feasible is the use of a virtual world for this purpose? And will subjects in the virtual world program demonstrate similar impact at study-end on health behaviors as subjects in the real world, as measured by patient activity levels; dietary patterns; adherence to diabetes medications; and improvements in metobolic and anthropometric indicators (hemoglobin a1c values, body mass index, and blood pressure)?

Helpful Links

Second Life (SL)

SL System Requirements

Getting Started with SL

Who to Call?

If you would like to learn about the Women in Control research program please contact:

Maria Rizzo DePaoli

Phone: (617) 414-6254

Email: Maria.Rizzodepaoli@bmc.org

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